Misconections – tale

What a waste! He said, throwing the fish back into the river.

He’d been sitting on that quay for hours on end. There rarely swam a fish by, but in the end, one had bit the bait and Douglas had pulled with all his might, his hole frame braced for a heart-thumping struggle, only to be thrown aback by his own strength. Rod, line and fish had flown threw the air, while he stumbled to the floor. He’d gotten up, feeling his legs to see if anything was broken, and after reassurance, he’d picked up the rod lying ten meters away. The fish at the end of the line had seemed determined to swim away from the fisherman as if the quay was as penetrable as the river, but his hand of steal had cut short the creature’s empty hopes, it had weighed its catch and decided that it was too negligible to be worth keeping.

Now he was again leaning his hope towards the river; holding it tight with his two hands, as if at any moment it could slip away from his clutch. How many times had he repeated the ritual? But he really didn’t care for the sport at all; he was just looking for a good-sized fish. However, every time he’d catch a paltry one and would be forced to throw it back to the water, not without uttering: What a waste!

What this phrase meant? Only he knew. Would it be a waste to keep the fish? Wouldn’t it satisfy his hunger were he to fry it and eat it? Probably yes, but apparently, he was rather in search of the fish to end all his fishing. Thus, he’d spent countless days, but what else was there to do for him? Sometimes he’d stay home or busy himself working, travelling or getting drunk, but in the end, he knew that he had yet to catch a fish.

This time he felt a strong tug on the line, and he knew this time his inordinate strength wouldn’t be uncalled for. He pulled with all his might, regardless of better fishing techniques, and he hooked the fish mercilessly. The rod bowed to the top of its elasticity and he had to pull directly from the line to be able to haul the fish to the surface. His non-existing fishing method apparently worked, because the fish came up to the surface after a short struggle. As soon as it showed its head above the water, Douglas stumbled backwards in disconcert. It was enormous, bigger than he’d ever dreamed of. His hand would’ve been bitten off had he tried to grab it. To his amazement, the fish kept emerging above water till it leaped out of the water and stood erect on the quay. It walked, seal-like, towards him, and grabbing him by his left foot with its teeth, it tossed him into the river. Douglas was so dumbfounded that he didn’t manage to swing his arms in any way conducive to stay afloat, so he drowned right away. The fish stared at Douglas while this happened, and then dove back into the water, but not without uttering: What a waste!


I'm a writer born in Argentina, but currently living in Poland. I work as an English and French teacher, translator and copywriter.

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